Center for Netherlandish Art

The Center for Netherlandish Art (CNA) is an innovative research center for the study and appreciation of Dutch and Flemish art. Through an expansive library, a residency fellowship program, and an active slate of academic and public programs, the CNA shares Dutch and Flemish art with wide audiences in Boston and beyond; stimulates multidisciplinary research and object-based learning; nurtures future generations of scholars and curators in the field; and expands public appreciation of Netherlandish art—especially works from the 17th century.

The Founders of the Center for Netherlandish Art are Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo and Susan and Matthew Weatherbie.

CNA Studies

Promoting scholarship is core to the mission of CNA. This series of digital publications documents and disseminates research and activities facilitated and supported by the CNA.

Our Mission

The CNA seeks to enhance the field of Dutch and Flemish art internationally through both collaboration and facilitation. Through its programs and events, the Center convenes experts, students, collectors, and art lovers, all with the aim of building meaningful connections and sharing knowledge. In addition to investigations of artistic and cultural history, the CNA also enables study, exploration, and discussion of the innumerable relationships between the Low Countries in the 17th century and our own time and place.

Want to Learn More?

In this YouTube video, created by Dutch Culture USA, CNA and MFA Boston staff as well as community members speak about the Center’s mission and impact.

Our Space

Fully integrated into the MFA’s program, governance, and resources, the CNA’s space is centrally located within the Museum on the ground floor, where it serves as a hub of activities connected to the Museum’s rich collections, state-of-the-art Conservation Center, and public programs serving wide audiences. Its cutting-edge facilities are capable of accommodating both individual study and events to propel observation, questioning, experimentation, reflection, and networking. CNA activities also take place in galleries, classrooms, and conservation studios throughout the Museum, ensuring the Center is part of the life of the MFA.



Painting depicting crowd of people, many carrying spears, standing on the shore of a bay dotted with tall ships.

Mapping Dutch Art in the United States

Thanks to this collaboration between the CNA and the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York, now you can identify and locate museums in the United States that collect and display 17th-century Dutch art. You can also find resources to expand your knowledge of 17th-century Dutch art and understand its impact on collecting and exhibitions in the United States.

Explore the Map

painting depicting busy road and river filled with carts and boats; situated next to the river is a small town with a large cathedral in the background

Thinking Small: Dutch Art to Scale

On view at the MFA through November 3, 2024; previously on view at the Yale University Art Gallery from February 17–July 23, 2023.

A collaboration between the Center for Netherlandish Art and the Yale University Art Gallery, “Thinking Small: Dutch Art to Scale” explores an intriguing selection of objects from the 17th-century Netherlands that were designed to elicit slow, intimate, and contemplative engagement on the part of their original audiences. With objects drawn from rich collections across Yale’s campus as well as the CNA, the exhibition compels viewers to reconsider their relationship to the world around them.

About the Center

Integrated within the MFA, the CNA draws on the expertise of the Museum’s staff in paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, works on paper, libraries and archives, conservation and scientific research, exhibitions and design, education and public programs, community engagement, publications, and visitor experience.


  • Christopher D. M. Atkins, PhD, Van Otterloo-Weatherbie Director
  • Nicole Elizabeth Cook, senior program manager
  • Alyssa Trejo, coordinator

Affiliated Staff

  • Marietta Cambareri, senior curator of European Sculpture and Jetskalina H. Phillips Curator of Judaica
  • Courtney Harris, assistant curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Art of Europe
  • Katherine Harper, curatorial research associate, Department of Prints and Drawings
  • Frederick Ilchman, Chair and Mrs. Russell W. Baker Curator of Paintings, Art of Europe
  • Antien Knaap, assistant curator of Paintings, Art of Europe
  • Rhona MacBeth, Director of Conservation and Scientific Research, Head of Paintings Conservation, and Eijk and Rose-Marie van Otterloo Conservator of Paintings
  • Benjamin Weiss, Leonard A. Lauder Senior Curator of Visual Culture, Department of Prints and Drawings

Advisory Council

  • Marisa Bass, professor of the History of Art, Yale University
  • Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School and director, Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University
  • Jeffrey Muller, professor of History of Art and Architecture, Brown University
  • Pieter Roelofs, head of Paintings and Sculpture, Rijksmuseum
  • Peter Sutton, former executive director, Bruce Museum
  • Martha Tedeschi, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director, Harvard Art Museums
  • Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo, CNA founders
  • Susan and Matthew Weatherbie, CNA founders

In 2017, two families came together to present a transformative gift to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo joined Susan and Matthew Weatherbie to donate 114 Dutch and Flemish paintings, the extensive library of late scholar Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann, and initial endowment funds for the Center for Netherlandish Art, the first of its kind in the US.

Standing in long gallery from left to right: Christopher D. M. Atkins, Van Otterloo-Weatherbie Director, CNA; Eijk and Rose-Marie van Otterloo; Matthew and Susan Weatherbie; and Matthew Teitelbaum
Left to right: Christopher D. M. Atkins, Van Otterloo-Weatherbie Director, CNA; Eijk and Rose-Marie van Otterloo; Matthew and Susan Weatherbie; and Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director, MFA. (Photograph courtesy of Michael Blanchard Photography)

2019 marked several key milestones for the CNA. In the spring, the Kingdom of the Netherlands appointed the Center’s four founders Knights in the Order of Orange-Nassau in recognition of their generous support of Dutch culture in the United States. The decoration ceremony was preceded by the CNA’s inaugural lecture, given by Professor Eric Jan Sluijter. That summer, during a diplomatic trade mission attended by Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands, the Dutch government established the Kingdom of the Netherlands Fund for Emerging Scholars, which enables Dutch students and young professionals to participate in CNA activities. Later in the year, an exhibition of highlights of the combined collections of Dutch paintings from the MFA, Van Otterloos, and Weatherbies traveled to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and the Saint Louis Art Museum.

Ahead of its launch, the CNA hosted several in-person and virtual programs that brought together speakers from partnering institutions in the Boston area and abroad, including Harvard University, Harvard Art Museums, Providence College, the Netherlands Innovation Network, the University of Leiden, and the Rijksmuseum.

The CNA officially debuted in November 2021 with the opening of its physical space. This coincided with the MFA’s unveiling of newly renovated galleries of Dutch and Flemish art, which include a rotating space dedicated to presenting research developed at the CNA through collaborations with academic partners. The first installation in the CNA Innovation Gallery, on view now, features data visualizations created in collaboration with faculty and students from the Experience Design Lab and the Co-Lab for Data Impact at Northeastern University.

Also in November 2021, the Government of Flanders established the Flanders State of the Art Fellowship at the CNA to enable one pre- or postdoctoral fellow a year to be in residence at the CNA to conduct independent research.

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Contact Us

Have a question or ideas, or interested in learning more about the CNA? Get in touch with us at

Netherlandish Art at the MFA

The MFA holds one of the most important collections of Netherlandish Art across media in the United States.

Learn More about Netherlandish Art

Reflections from the Fellows

These insightful essays by the CNA fellows offer a glimpse at the meaningful work they’ve done at the Center to foster meaningful connections that enhance the field of Netherlandish art.

Read the Essays

Explore Netherlandish Art with SmartHistory

The CNA has partnered with SmartHistory on a series of videos about Netherlandish art from the MFA’s collection. Learn more about a fascinating range of artworks—from a Rembrandt self-portrait to an ornate cup crafted from a coconut.

Visit SmartHistory

CNA Programs Anytime

Watch full-length lectures and events hosted by the CNA and hear from some of the world’s leading experts on Netherlandish art.

Visit YouTube